Hello Ingmar

7:00, 2000
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In Hello Ingmar a woman who may or may not be Gunilla, plunders through the films of Ingmar Bergman, who may or may not be her father, in search of the moment when she appeared, or did not appear, in one of Bergman’s films.

Hello Ingmar opens with the words ‘Ingmar Bergman is my father….’ What follows this outrageous declaration is a reconstructed narrative, stitched together with fragments from various Ingmar Bergman films and original footage shot in the ‘Bergmanesque’ style.

The true facts are these: Ingmar Bergman arrives at a young woman’s house, where she lives with her stern grandfather, asking permission to make a film on the property. The grandfather throws Bergman’s camera out the window and orders him away. Some years after, the young woman acts in a film, which could have been made by Bergman, and is later lost. In time, the woman goes in search of the film, and the lost incident, by creating a new film. Into this new story, I have inserted myself, as creator, as actor and as viewer.

Hello Ingmar is a ‘perceptual autobiography’, which weaves together fact and fiction to create a meta-narrative. Authenticity, documentary, narrative, biography, are all questioned through another telling.

Hello Ingmar operates on two primary levels. On the one hand it plays with the conventions of how a film is structured and told. Characters from different Bergman films speak across films, engage in actions that jump time and space, and move through situations that become other, unintended, situations. Into this collage I ‘implant’ footage of myself, of Sweden and of different parts of my grandfather’s dwelling. Through strong physical resemblance to some of the actors, repeatedly used by Ingmar Bergman I become them, and speak through them, as I reconstruct their narrative (which is fictional in the first place), into my auto biography.

This production is also a personal investigation into how my identity is located and defined in the world. The Swedish type, the Bergmanesque type, is something of a cliche’, which I operate in conjunction with, and in opposition to, in the film.

Hello Ingmar presents itself as autobiography, as documentary, as true/not true, but in its deliberate confusions of fiction and fact, calling into question our definitions of both those properties by distorting the narrative, the film becomes a ‘meta-biography’. Humorous, outrageous, factual, or a complete lie, the film is a perceptual recounting of experience, in which history is the result not of facts, but of perceptions.

Winner of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2001

SAW Video website article

Filmform Screening

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Hello Ingmar | 2001 | Video Work | Media: